On Thursday, February 25, Lila Tretikov announced she will step down from her role as Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation.

“Two years ago, the Board tasked me with making changes to serve the next generation and ensure our future.” Lila wrote in her email to staff and community. “We’ve accomplished a lot together, most significantly stemming the loss of our editorial community. I have decided that this is the right time to move on. I would like to thank our Board of Trustees and Advisors, our Foundation staff, as well as the many outstanding community members for their support and encouragement on this journey.”

The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees is working to develop a transition plan that will include appointing interim leadership and initiating the search for a new Executive Director. Lila’s last day will be March 31, 2016.

Lila joined as Executive Director in May 2014 to support the maturation of the Wikimedia Foundation and focus the organization on the needs of its community and users. During this time, the organization has made real progress in these areas. The Foundation has improved organizational performance and product development and released new native apps, editor translation and content quality assessment tools. Many talented members of our staff and community contributed to these accomplishments, and we want to recognize their hard work and commitment to our mission.

“These changes are in motion and I move on with confidence that the Foundation can meet new challenges in a changing environment” said Lila. “I remain passionate about the value and potential of open knowledge to change the world and our ability to continue lead this change.”

Since it started fifteen years ago, Wikipedia has grown into one of the world’s most important knowledge resources, thanks to the efforts of hundreds of thousands of volunteers around the world. The focus of the Wikimedia Foundation has always been to support that community and the Wikimedia projects, and to help make free knowledge available for the world.

“The Wikimedia vision is clear: a world in which every single person can share in the sum of all knowledge. Even as we go through changes, our focus remains on this vision,” said Patricio Lorente, Chair of the Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees. “The Wikimedia Foundation has strong leadership and a talented staff devoted to this vision and our movement’s core values. They will continue to support the Wikimedia projects and community, and we are confident that we are well positioned to move forward at this time. We thank Lila for her service and wish her the best in her future endeavors.”

Lila will remain engaged with the Wikimedia Foundation to support the transition process.

Katherine Maher, Chief Communications Officer
Wikimedia Foundation